John Davidson

Scottish Rugby is saddened to learn of the death of its former honorary historian and librarian, John Davidson, who passed away in an Edinburgh hospital yesterday.  He was 83.

Born in Aberdeen and educated at Aberdeen Grammar School, John served as a pilot in the RAF during National Service and his first sporting love was football, where he played at a decent amateur level.

Employed in the printing and publishing sector with Edinburgh University Press, John became one of the first non FP members at the Royal High Athletic Club at Jock’s Lodge where he became great friends with Sandy Thorburn, a trailblazer when it came to the history of the game in Scotland.

John was also good friends with the late Scotland team manager and respected committee member, Bob Munro, and it was through his links with Munro and Thorburn that he succeeded the latter as Scottish Rugby’s honorary historian and librarian in the early 1980s.

Indispensible guide

John was passionate about the history of the game and enjoyed ploughing through record books and newspaper reports to assist inquiries about Scottish Rugby’s rich heritage, whether the question came from a journalist or a supporter.

In 1994 he published “A Compendium of Scotland’s Matches” – an indispensable history of every Scotland game from 1871 to that point.

He lectured in printing and publishing at Stirling University but spent most of his free time researching the history of the game – for him, a labour of love.

Scottish Rugby extends its sincere condolences to John’s family and friends and will advise on its website when funeral arrangements are made.